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Protests held in Nigerian states of Sokoto

by teleSUR

Dozens of people protested this Saturday in different parts of the state of Sokoto (Nigeria) against the arrest of two people who a few days earlier participated in the murder of a young woman for alleged blasphemy, local media report.

This Thursday, at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, a group of students beat and burned alive their classmate Deborah Samuel, whom they accused of disseminating a blasphemous publication against the prophet Mohammed.

The protesters, a group of Muslim youths, attacked several churches, as well as properties and businesses belonging to the Igbo ethnic group – a part of which is Christian – and demanded the release of the suspects.

As a result, a Catholic church and a building of the Winning All Evangelical Church were reportedly destroyed.

Following these events, the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, imposed a 24-hour curfew to curtail the unrest.

“These attacks on innocent and law-abiding Igbo businessmen who have done nothing wrong to justify such a cruel and barbaric attack on them are uncalled for and we condemn them in their entirety,” said Goodluck Ibem, general chairman of the South East Coalition of Youth Leaders.

He also warned those involved to stop such actions “immediately.” “We want these miscreants to know that no one has a monopoly on violence, that they should stop or they will see us soon,” he added, calling on Tambuwal to arrest those responsible for the vandalism.

On his part, Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigeria’s former Minister of Aviation, assured that the prime suspect in Samuel’s murder, who has fled to his native Niger, “will know no peace for his callous and brutal actions and will pay a terrible price for his brutal and ruthless crime, both in this life and the next.”

Such instances of violence is not uncommon in Nigeria, as inter-ethnic violence, religious violence and gender based violence is prevalent thoughout the country.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is deeply divided along religious and ethnic lines. Women rarely make it to top positions of power, and only 7% of nation’s senators are women.

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